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Laval man accuses police of racial profiling, intends to file human rights complaint

A member of the Canadian military is alleging Laval police officers racially profiled him while he was out for a jog. 

Pierre Emanuel Joseph says police arrested him after asking for his ID and was eventually charged.

It’s been nearly two years but Joseph says he’s finally ready to talk about what happened in October 2021. He was finishing up a run in Laval and he was walking on the street That’s when he says Laval police stopped him.

"He said, 'You are walking on the side of the street and it’s illegal.' He pulled out his cellphone and he start saying I’m illegal and I need to identify myself," he said at a news conference Wednesday.

Joseph didn’t have ID on him, but was willing to go home to get it. But before that could happen, he said he was arrested.

He says throughout his interaction with police, the officers tried to bully him.

"One of the police — actually he’s in the army as well — he told me I'm going to be in jail for two weeks, I’m going to see a judge," he recounted.

Joseph was eventually charged with obstructing a police officer. The charge was dropped, he said, when he decided to make a $250 dollar donation as part of a settlement that was allowed in this particular case.

"I decided to pay because it was taxing on me. I have a personal life. The first week cost me about $3,000. Just the first week of the situation I hired an investigator, a lawyer," he said.

Laval police did not respond to a request for comment from CTV News.

Last year, the police service brought forward a plan to tackle racial profiling by improving community outreach and increasing diversity within its ranks.

"The Red Coalition believes that the situation of racial profiling within Laval police is much more widespread than this isolated case," said Alain Babineau, a retired RCMP officer and director of racial profiling with the Red Coalition advocacy group.

Joseph closed his file with the police ethics commissioner but the Red Coalition is looking to reopen it while also filing a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Top Stories

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